Guide Dogs, the largest provider of support services for children, young people and families in the UK with sight loss, is set to give iPads to 2,500 more children with a vision impairment this year as it officially launches its Tech for All service.
The service, which provides the devices for free, is designed to help children with sight loss with learning outside of school and explore the activities and interests they enjoy.
The official launch follows a successful pilot scheme last year which delivered almost 5,000 iPhones and iPads and were found to significantly improve children’s confidence, creativity and independence. The results of a survey completed by users indicated that after just four months with a device, a child’s reported autonomy increased by 18%, engagement by 13% and sociability by 5% on average.
Guide Dogs has now opened its Tech for All service to support up to a further 2,500 children with iPads in 2022. Applications for a free device are open to every child in the UK from age 3-18 with a vision impairment and can be made on the Guide Dogs Tech for All page.
We know from our research how important access to technology is and Tech for All is designed to empower children with sight loss with the tools they need to be more engaged, confident and keep pace with peers.
Emma Foulds, Director of Marketing and Strategy at Guide Dogs
Guide Dogs has also created digital learning resources to support families in using them and help them get the most out of their device. The resources, which will be made available for everyone to access on the Guide Dogs website, includes guidance on setting up the iPads and using accessibility features.
“Following the success of the pilot last year, we have increased our reach from 4% to 22% of all children and young people in the UK with a vision impairment but we know we can help more.” Emma continues, “An iPad could be the key to unlocking the world for a child with a vision impairment; discovering their passions and maximising their potential.”
Guide Dogs offers a range of information and advice to support children and young people and their families, helping with family and educational support, technology grants and sensory toys, My Life Skills, My Time to Play, CustomEyes books, family events and buddy dogs.